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Comparisons of Magic Types

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.occult.methods,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.lucky.w
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Comparisons of Magic Types (was Repercussions ...)
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 10:38:47 GMT

50010809 VI! om Hail Satan! Hail Yes! Hail Jules!

Jules :
>>> ...Ceremonial magick, high magick and local magick, 
>>> such as voodoo, are decidedly different things. 

>> really? how different are they? what ARE their differences, exactly?
>> do they have different principles behind them, different kinds of
>> tools, different modes of belief about linking symbols and magic,
>> limitations on their aims and goals, etc.?

Jules :
> ...I tend to find high magic, the ceremonial stuff as well, 
> to have fewer uses in every day life. I'm more likely to 
> require a phone call right away than needing to summon a demon 
> to plague an enemy. 

so rituals are less frequent than spells? but this describes only
the usage differences, not how the practical methods might differ.
I suspect there are a few cultural bases of difference, such as
one might find between, say, African and Malaysian magic, or
between hoodoo and the magic of Arabs. but are there commonalities,
such that one might say there is something underlying them at all? 
or is there so much variation that no general principles can be 

> I'm decidedly folk magic-ky in my beliefs. More a Pratchett witch 
> than sorcerer.

as described within the works of author Terry Pratchett? I've not
read that text. witches tend to make potions and cast spells,
while sorcerers are off reading grimoires and drawing magical
symbols in mystical rituals, don't you agree?

>> could you tell us about some of the self-protection methods 
>> that you are aware of? 
> ...i work with my back to a mirror, always, and use words (they 
> needn't be anything special, these you can make up on your own) 
> which brings the mirror into the work. 

one might also use some of the energy one is supposed to be either 
generating or accessing from a reservoir and construct a barrier
around oneself which may be utilized prior to or during one's 
spellwork or ritual. as a method of self-constraint (absorbing 
whatever energies one is working with in ritual because one is 
merely 'exercising' or the effects are contained within the ritual 
space), dividing up the energies (some for barrier, some for play) 
seems quite a reasonable solution. as a protective shielding, 
I think it is incredibly valuable.



	I used to construct a Magical Cube with a white/clear block of
	consecrated wax, drawing sigils upon the white walls and ceiling.
	this is a valuable method of self-constraint and/or protection
	within a blocky structure like a room in a house, or a cave. 


	compacts with allies (spirits, gods, the dead, etc.) can provide
	assistance in self-protection. the construction of and consecration
	of special ritual tools for the purpose intended during which
	protection is being sought could assist one, as could the
	construction of protective amulets and talismans of various types.


	empowerment spells (as upon jewelry one wears) are a valuable way
	to practice one's ritual skills. they get one thinking about rite,
	and if one is creative, can involve all manner of magical element
	(from contact with allies to a mystical encounter with the Real).
	they may also serve to encompass one with a protective aura. 

> Mirrors are much more interesting than we give them credit and once 
> you make friends with the mirror and what it posesses, it will do 
> most anything you want it to. I make sure the mirror sees what I am 
> doing in my work and that the mirror itself casts, if you will. I 
> let the reflection actually send the spell, not me. Then anything 
> that comes back cannot come to me. 

very nice. another would be to use a wand/staff to direct the spell 
and then burn the wand/staff once you're finished with the spell, 
perhaps doing the spell itself in a remote location. 


do spell-effects bounce back at the caster (in response to some 
kind of reflection spell)? through what medium do these energies 
transit? would it bounce back to the person, to the place, at the 
object which cast it, or to the immediate vicinity of the spell
target, or what? what have the bounce-backs of which you aware 
been like, exactly?

I haven't seen evidence of this in any direct way but I have 
been cautious so I would not hurt others if what I was doing had
undesired effects. I have experienced quite sudden changes in 
health and relationships due to rituals/spells in which I've been 
involved. I've seen spell difficulty interpreted as sign of the 
power of the intended target of the spell (candle explosion). I've 
also known bad decisions leading to health and money problems 
blamed on curses. it's a mix. ;>

I enjoy considering the whole as a role-playing gamer and designer, 
collecting gaming magic systems because I enjoy their descriptions 
of how magic works. they're all models. some seem more appropriate
than others, some are more symbolic than actual. when you talk about 
things coming back after casting a spell I wonder what you mean. 

>>> They have no vested interest in the outcome, other than keeping 
>>> the person who came to them with a problem satisfied. And usually are 
>>> just as comfortable helping the person who was the object of the spell 
>>> do their own work.
>> wouldn't providing spells like this, especially for a fee, 
>> be returned with outrage by those who had been so provided
>> and had had something "bad" happen to them? if so, why aren't
>> there more complaints to spell-providers than there are?
> [First] off, would you complain? 

I might, if something unusual happpened right after the spell. 
I'd at least tell them about it! maybe they thought sulphur 
smelled really sweet and mixed it into the Love Me Incense!
I think I'd inform them if I believed, say, that this led to 
the death of my girlfriend rather than to our reconciliation.

depends on how bad 'bad' is, I suppose. if nothing happened 
I don't think I would, no. none of these things are guaranteed.
it's a magic bag, man, not a Ring of Wishes. ;> but I'd 
probably watch for signs as to why it failed if it was 
important to me.

> ...It intimidates the crap out of people to even see someone 
> they [know (?)] is a caster. 

I'm sorry to hear that. I think that if more people took some
time to learn about magic, then this would quell their fears 
considerably. there are far more magical spells, tools, and 
rituals designed to protect and support or heal people than 
any other type of spell or practice, and many without tools.

in most circumstances physical activity is more efficient as
a lasting generator of change -- most spells affect physical 
outcomes (love, health, job, winnings, etc.) and are an
attempt to steer the physical world toward a desired course,
to assume the mantle of the Cosmic God at least in part.

the embattled mentality of some of the practitioners doubtless
contributes, as do the occasional unstable folks who get caught 
in their own delusions. but the fact that there is less of a 
record of black magic -- it is less commonly written down -- means
to me that less people actually do it. more try to deceive through 
association with the character of black magic, they more seldom 
actually focus on the principles involved, the procedures from a 
variety of cultures and traditions, etc. they're more often
interested in the *goal* -- getting things done, whether that be
at the employ of an magician willing to do it for them, doing it 
themselves, or more commonly scaring folks into doing what they
want them to through implication and posturing (thus are books 
such as "Bluff Your Way in the Occult" are written, though a 
companion called "Bluff Your Way in Spellwork" is due). 

consider how many more defensive martial arts moves than there are 
offensive. partly this is due to physiological and spatial qualities,
partly it is an attention to the subject of greatest concern of the
moment -- less people are interested in aggression and violence those 
who focus on it tend to do it for mystical or magical to suppose such 
things would either be twisted or some kind of generalist (whether
polymath or Magus).

>> for example, I don't remember very many people in usenet or
>> via other mediums contacting our store or me, with the HUNDREDS
>> of spellkits we've sold, with the THOUSANDS of URLs mentioned
>> that have spells at them, to complain about the horrible
>> problems they've experienced based on their fouled spell.
> Exactly. And why would they? How are they to know you won't do 
> something to them if they do? .... how would they know that 
> [you aren't likely to do this]? And if they know the [spell]
> *worked* why on earth would they risk that?

because they're friendly. we've got some great customers. :>

there is never an implied risk in interacting with catherine or
with me. we're very friendly anti-militarist hippies who love to 
archive and make available information about mysticism, magic, 
folklore and spirituality the world over, as well as make it 
possible to obtain materials and resources with which to practice 
the same. we don't do spellwork for others, and tend to caution 
against antagonistic work because of unforeseen consequences 
(whether you're talking about bazookas or black magic, it's a 
waste of calories if you're not accounting for the results of 
your actions. at least this is how cat and I tend to regard the 
world, and are more interested in taking Love Me herbal baths,
using Lodestones and mounding the car with lucky charms (protect
Possum and Bambi!).
most often a query to either of us pertains to how to solve 
a particular problem, magically. that is, the presumptions
are typically that A) magic is a REAL thing, B) that it may 
be TAUGHT via the phone or computer, and C) that it concerns 
particular FORMULAE which will result in change to a desired 
condition. these seem commonalities in the magic of which I
am aware.

	A) REALITY -- participation in this forum includes the 
	presupposition that at least discussing magic is valuable, 
	whether or not we think it is 'real'. those who might be 
	experimenting, learning a family tradition, etc., may not 
	even believe in it at all but have some reason to pursue 
	it for personal, scientific, and/or mystical purposes.
	B) TRANSMISSION -- the physical gestures of some magical 
	techniques can be instructed by computer or phone. that 
	doesn't mean that one will learn effectively via these 
	methods. I would never have learned about folk magic from 
	books, whereas books are the most valuable references I 
	have on ceremonial magic. phone or computer wouldn't 
	teach me the basics of either, because these are 
	predominantly physical and precise. learning directly 
	from another is probably the most valuable, though 
	making new spells or rituals myself is important also.

	C) FORMULAE -- whether they are verbal lists, potion 
	ingredients, the recipe for a floor wash or conceptual 
	symbols of mystical transcendance, they certainly are 
	valuable to the practice of magic.

are there types of magic which don't have these three facets?
any longstanding magical traditions which do not?

blessed beast!

emailed replies may be posted  -----   "sa avidya ya vimuktaye"   ----- 
"that which liberates is ignorance"
    hoodoo catalogue: send postal address to

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